Life is as confusing as it is exciting, and everyone alive right now is living a completely different life to yours. Some deal with anxiety. Others battle depression. Some strike it lucky in love, while others achieve success around every corner.
But what if there were aspects of life that are shared among everyone? Well, curious reader, it’s time to discover some psychological facts about life showing that you’re more similar to others than you think.
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57 Psychological Facts About Life
From the ideas and beliefs you form to your actions and choices, here’s a collection of psychological tidbits about life. Time to change your entire perception of living your life.
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1. Your Early Relationship With Your Mother Has Life-Long Consequences
Ever wondered why most psychologists question your relationship with your mother? It turns out that regardless of your childhood, your relationship with your mother affects everything from adult intimacy to how you tackle stressful challenges.
2. A Happy Life Might Not Be One Based on Happiness
You may think that a healthy life revolves around happiness, and while that isn’t bad, it might not be ideal. Your quality of life depends more on your pursuit of purpose. Excessive partying lacks meaning and has the same effects on your brain as chronic adversity.
3. You’ll Search for New Information Throughout Your Life
Even if you’re not actively looking to learn new things, your subconscious loves searching for something fresh of interest. During your life, your brain produces dopamine, and aside from its normal functions, it sneakily makes you crave new info.
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4. Stress Can Improve Your Ability to Accomplish Tasks in Life
It seems stress can be a great motivator to efficiently accomplish tasks throughout your life. That said, the secret lies in how you respond to stress. If you react healthily with practical methods to recover from it, your life goals will thank you.
5. If You Learn New Languages in Your Life, Your Decision-Making Changes
There’s a good reason that bilingual (or multilingual) people seem to make better life choices. The University of Chicago conducted a study that revealed participants who learned to speak a second language began to problem-solve in that language. This resulted in them making more rational and less emotional decisions.
6. Events That Happen in Early Adulthood Stick With You for Years
This is all thanks to the “reminiscence bump,” and it’s an inevitable part of life. Your brain prefers to recollect events that caused some change and will do so, especially for things that happened during formative years.
7. From As Young As Five Months Old, You Prefer Your Accent
It’s been proven that babies can recognize and understand any accent they encounter from birth. However, when they turn five months old, babies prefer and listen to their mother’s accent, which they then adopt.
8. Your First Interaction With Someone Shapes the Entire Relationship
You’ve heard that a first impression is everything. Psychologists have observed that even after long periods of separation, your first interaction with someone defines the entire relationship.
Oddly enough, this is especially true for first arguments and your ability to convince someone.
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9. If You Want to Live Longer, Help More People
This is one of the most effective ways of lessening the effects of depression. A team of psychologists reviewed the impact of regular volunteering and found that it has the chance of reducing a person’s mortality rate by a whopping 22%.
10. Anything You Create During Your Life You Will Value More
There’s a reason you value something you’ve made more than anything you’ve ever bought pre-made. Known as the IKEA effect, researchers have found that if you were involved in creating something, it would always hold more value to you.
11. You Will Always Underestimate the Time It Takes to Complete a Task
In a study from 2022 with participants from various age groups, the results showed that people tend to finish tasks three weeks later than their “realistic estimate.” Additionally, they complete tasks a week later than their “worst-case-scenario estimate.”
12. Gratitude Has a Direct Impact on How Much You Enjoy Life
You’ve probably heard that being grateful is a crucial ingredient to being happy, but as it turns out, when you express it daily, your overall emotional state and quality of life increase.
It all comes down to the happy hormones, namely dopamine and serotonin. They work together to boost your mood, decreasing your mortality rate.
13. You Are Instinctively Biased, and Your Bias Changes Throughout Your Life
As much as you’d like to admit that you’re not biased toward something or a situation, your life and many behavioral patterns are based on “confirmation bias.” Your preprogrammed biases change as you age, but psychologists say they never disappear.
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14. Your Happiness in Life Is the Result of Being in a State of Flow
Everyone’s been in the zone at some point where you’re super focused. Well, there’s a term for that. It’s called the “state of flow,” and positive psychology suggests that the moments in your life when you are at your happiest occur thanks to it.
15. Your Life Experiences Are More Impactful Than Anything Else
Occasionally, you overlook the importance of an experience in the long term. Thanks to recent studies of human interaction and its effects on your brain, every event in your life is embedded into your subconscious, sticking with you forever.
16. If You Have More Self-Compassion, Your Outlook on Life Changes
It does pay to be kind to yourself, and while people who suffer from anxiety struggle to do so, it’s a needed component for a positive outlook. Various studies have proven that increasing your ability to be compassionate to yourself directly alters how you see your life.
17. You Will Desire Consistency but Suffer From Cognitive Dissonance
During your lifetime, your craving for consistency and to be consistent will be outmatched by your cognitive dissonance. This phenomenon revolves around having a specific belief yet contradicting it in your actions.
18. If You Can Delay Gratification, You’ll Likely Be More Successful
Studies on this have revealed that if you can effectively delay gratification throughout your life, you’ll have a higher chance of success. The reason? If you can resist immediate pleasure for long-term benefit, you improve your motivation to achieve a goal.
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19. You’ll Encounter the Placebo Effect in Various Forms
Most people know the placebo effect when it comes to medication, but psychologists have revealed that it happens in most areas of your life. When looking at exercise, for example, while it does help individuals avoid stressors, it ultimately does not provide a lasting cure.
20. The Fear of Loss Is More Important Than the Potential to Gain
Many of your life choices may be motivated by the potential to gain something, but actually, the motivating factor is the exact opposite. Studies revealed that your fear of loss drives you to make important decisions, ranging from minor daily to big life-changing ones.
21. Daily Routines and Rituals Affect Your Satisfaction With Life
Countless self-help guides tell you to focus on creating healthy habits. Psychological data backs this up, as having a set of routines and rituals stimulates dopamine and serotonin and feeds your need for consistency, improving your satisfaction with life.
22. You Have an Inherent Need to Find Purpose in Life
As mentioned, the key to a healthy life isn’t always about being happy. According to researchers in the field of brain chemistry, craving to find meaning in life or having a purpose is biological. Your subconscious actively looks for purpose, and if it doesn’t find it, you lose interest.
23. Masking Is an Automatic Thing You Do Throughout Your Life
Has it ever crossed your mind that you act differently when you’re being watched? If so, you’re doing what psychologists call “masking.” Surprisingly enough, this reaction isn’t momentary, and you’ll go through life doing it without even knowing it.
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24. You Won’t Always Remember Life Events in the Same Way
As accurate as it is that life events stick with you, you won’t remember them the exact way they happened. Your brain doesn’t take snapshots of something; instead, it fills in the gaps, often with what it perceives to be the closest to reality possible.
25. To Overcome One Negative Life Event, You Need to Experience Five Positive Ones
One of your lifelong biases is the “negativity bias,” where your brain remembers the bad more than the good. It is estimated that your mind balances out one bad thing with five good things and will do so throughout your life.
26. The Rule of Reciprocity Forms a Big Part of Your Life
It’s a nice gesture when someone does a favor for you. What comes after is the want to return the kindness, and it’s not just a random feeling. Societal norms dictate this; it has become an inherent part of our community structure over generations.
27. When You Encounter a Strict Rule in Life, You May Want to Break It and More
Known as the “reactance theory”, it seems that if, at a point in your life, you have to adhere to a definitive law that limits your freedom, your brain wants to break it along with others to regain it back.
28. Throughout Your Life, You Will Always Be Your Favourite Topic
Talking about yourself will always be your favorite thing to do. As your brain develops over the years, you become more reliant on chasing rewards. Having yourself as the main conversational topic sets off the reward centers of your brain like fireworks.
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29. You Are Preprogrammed to Always Expect the Future to Be Bright
Another one of those inescapable biases present in your life is the “optimism bias.” The publication Current Biology revealed that no matter your current situation, whether positive or negative, your brain comes preprogrammed to convince you the future will be better.
30. The Music You Listened to in High School Will Always Be Your Favorite
Diving into your favorite song when you need a dopamine hit is common. Between the ages of 12 and 22, your brain craves it the most as it develops. Because music feeds into that, the music you like in high school will often always be your most enjoyed.
31. The More Choices You Have, The Harder It Is to Decide
Ironically enough, the more choices you have, the harder it is to choose. This is all because of the “paradox of choice,” which researchers attribute to your brain preferring a small number of things to a massive number of possibilities.
32. Beliefs You Develop in Your Life, Even If Wrong, Will Be Your First Instinct
You feed your subconscious’s hunger for fresh details whenever you’re introduced to new information in your life. Interestingly, studies detail that beliefs based on what you are taught, even if incorrect, often remain your first go-to when asked or challenged.
33. How Well You Do in Life Depends on Whether Other People Think You Will
Throughout life, various people have expectations of you. But, courtesy of the “Pygmalion effect,” it’s not these expectations that impact your success. Actually, it’s if others believe you will succeed without expressing their expectations of you to do so.
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34. Your Morals Are Not Set in Stone
While your morals seem unshakeable, those you consider essential change during your life. This can be because of different factors. Mainly, a psychological study showed that when an authority figure tells you to loosen your morals or alter them, you’re more inclined to do so.
35. Having Good Relationships Is More Important for a Long Life Than Exercise
Contrary to what most think, the hack to a longer life isn’t solely the result of a healthy exercise routine. A recent study published in General Psychiatry detailed how satisfying relationships are directly linked to lowering the development of chronic illnesses in old age.
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36. Throughout Your Entire Life, You Will Live in a “Monkeysphere”
This concept revolves around the idea that in your life, the number of people you can conceptualize at once is limited to 150. This means that regardless of how many people you meet, you can actively only think of and care for up to 150 people.
37. Your Taste in Music Changes the Way You Perceive Life
In your daily life, the music you listen to directly impacts and can change how you view life. Think about how you feel when listening to sad music or how excited you get when you hear an anthemic pop song.
38. If You Want to Be Happier in Life, Keep Yourself Busy
When it comes to being happier in life, the simple answer is to keep yourself busy, but this does mean engaging in things you like. Staying busy distracts your brain from its tendency to harp on negativity, which translates into increased happiness.
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39. Your Thoughts Are Not Always Accurate Reflections of Reality
The brain oddly formulates thoughts about a situation. When you know the outcome, there’s nothing to worry about, but when uncertain, your brain creates ideas that very seldom resonate with the reality of the event.
40. Your Expectations of Your Life Can Make Your Quality of Life Worse
Of course, the expectations of your own life matter the most. Still, research has shown that when you have lofty beliefs about your life, and they don’t materialize, your overall quality of life decreases severely.
41. You Will Remember Endings and Beginnings More Than Any Other Part of Life Events
A psychoanalytical study answers why you remember the first and end of things more prominently during your life. This is because of how, in life, it’s most often the start or end of an event or task that the brain considers essential.
42. You Will Live Your Entire Life Under an Illusion of Control
The sad truth is you will never fully control everything in your life. Yet, it appears that, as humans, the natural ideology is to believe you are in control of the things that happen to you and around you. This, however, according to psychology, is the “illusion of control.”
43. The Effect of Colours on Your Life Is Far More Important Than You Think
Colors impact your life in many ways. Decision-making as you grow older is one of the areas where it plays the biggest role, from clothing preferences to mood and even how you give and receive information.
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44. Being Mindful Helps Accomplish Goals
Your capability to remain grounded in the present moment benefits your quality of life more. Detailed studies show that your approach to accomplishing long-term goals improves when you focus firmly on the current moment.
45. Spending Time Outdoors Can Improve Your Quality of Life
According to Healthline, when you head outdoors and spend time in the sun, you decrease your stress and anxiety and potentially lower blood pressure. Prolonged exposure, in turn, can heighten your quality of life by improving your health.
46. The Less You Strive for Perfection, the More Likeable You Will Be
Every human ultimately is a perfectionist at heart and will unknowingly strive toward it. Psychologists recently observed that those who actively and continuously do so become less likable. The opposite is true: when you lower your ideals of perfection, you will come off as likable.
47. Mistakes You Make Are Not As Noticed by Others As You Think
Have you ever felt like everyone took notice when you made a mistake? Well, that’s the “spotlight effect,” and it’s widespread. Luckily, psychologists have found that you magnify the severity of an error and project that onto others.
48. Having Backup Plans Often Results in the Failure of Your First Plan
While it’s a good thing to have a plan B in some cases, participants in psychological studies who had one before starting work on their plan A did far worse or failed, unlike those with no backup approach.
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49. You Will Spend 30% of Your Lifetime Daydreaming
As a society, it’s often frowned upon for someone to sit and let their mind wander into a world of dreams. There have been some interesting revelations that you will spend 30% of your life with a wandering mind, and this is usually when you spark the most creativity.
50. If You Want to Achieve a Goal in Your Life, Keep It to Yourself
If you want to give yourself a better chance of accomplishing goals, don’t tell people about them. Psychologist Peter Gollwitzer submitted that when you announce your plans, you hold yourself less accountable, which drives down your motivation to take action.
51. Having a Hobby and Practising It Increases Your Happiness in Life
A healthy mental state is what most, if not all, desire and work to achieve. Although, a beneficial way to improve yours is to have a hobby and actively practice it. Engaging in something that gives you joy, like a passion project, increases your well-being.
52. If You Want to Build a Lasting Connection With Someone in Life, Sing With Them
Building a relationship rests on a few things, but did you ever consider singing with someone as one of them? Singing with another person cultivates a shared feeling of togetherness, enhancing the interpersonal connection.
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53. Spending Money on an Experience Instead of an Object Is More Beneficial to Your Life
When you spend money on doing something, it improves your enjoyment and gratitude. You might enjoy buying something, but spending on an experience creates a more pleasant memory that lasts far longer and thus promotes improved mental health.
54. Your Yearning to Fit In During Your Life Reduces Your Feeling of Belonging
Although everyone yearns to fit into a specific group, that lowers your feeling of belonging. You often mask your identity when you try to fit into a category. You hide your true self, which makes you experience a lowered impression of belonging precisely as you are.
55. What You Remember About Your Life Consists of at Least One False Memory
Your brain doesn’t always remember exactly how something happened and tries to compensate for it, and it can create an entirely new and false one. Psychologists estimate that at least one fabricated memory about a life experience is in every person’s mind.
56. Your Mindset Can Influence Your Physical Health Throughout Your Life
The saying “mind over matter” holds more truth than you think. From early childhood to adulthood, your mental perception of your overall health can physically manifest, from minor things to significant illnesses.
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57. You’ll Enjoy Life a Lot More When You Don’t Take It Too Seriously
Finally, the real winner is that there’s a lot of research backing up the expression that you shouldn’t take life too seriously. Knowing when to relax a bit causes an increase in your ability to dedicate the appropriate time and energy to tasks and life choices.